Poetry and verse

Poets aspiring to be published: Be aware that there are many scam poetry contests out there, trying to get your money. Among links below are guides to finding the legitimate poetry contests. Above all: Sign nothing granting or selling all future rights on your poetry.
• Arts and poetry organizations
• Paris Review interviews with poets
• Punctuating poetry
• Poetry awards and contests
(Legitimate contests vs. contest scams)
• Links to other helpful or interesting poetry-related sites and articles
• Poetry and literary publications online

Arts and poetry organizations

• Academy of American Poets (Poets.org)
• Authors Guild (this professional organization for published authors and freelance writers offers advice on contracts royalty statements, and protecting authors' rights and lobbies on issues related to copyright, taxation, and freedom of expression)
• Council of Literary Magazines and Presses (CLMP, frequently asked questions page)
• LitLine, its list of organizations devoted to keeping literature alive
• Haiku Society of America (promoting Haiku in English)
• The National Association for Poetry Therapy (NAPT)
• National Federation of State Poetry Societies
• PEN American Center
• Poetry Foundation (articles, tools, blog, Poetry Magazine)
• The Poetry Book Society (UK)
• The Poetry Society (UK)
• Poetry Society of America (PSA)
• Poetry Society of Virginia
*** Poets & Writers (a very helpful site)
• Speakeasy (Poets & Writers forum)
• Teachers & Writers Collaborative
• Twitter list of small literary presses and journals

" A poem is like a score for the human voice." ~ Li-Young Lee
[Back to Top]

" Poetry is the shadow cast by our streetlight imaginations."~ Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Paris Review Interviews with Poets

• W. H. Auden, The Art of Poetry No. 17 (interviewed by Michael Newman)
• Elizabeth Bishop, The Art of Poetry No. 27 (interviewed by Elizabeth Spires)
• Robert Bly, The Art of Poetry No. 79 (interviewed by Francis Quinn>
• Billy Collins, The Art of Poetry No. 83 (interviewed by George Plimpton)
• T. S. Eliot, The Art of Poetry No. 1 (interviewed by Donald Hall)
• Robert Frost, The Art of Poetry No. 2 (interviewed by Richard Poirier)
• Philip Larkin, The Art of Poetry No. 30 (interviewed by Robert Phillips
• Allen Ginsberg, The Art of Poetry No. 8 (interviewed by Thomas Clark)
• Robert Graves, The Art of Poetry No. 11 (Interviewed by Peter Buckman and William Fifield)
• Geoffrey Hill, The Art of Poetry No. 80 interviewed by Carl Phillips)
• William Carlos Williams, The Art of Poetry No. 6 (interviewed by Stanley Koehler)
• Seamus Heaney, The Art of Poetry No. 75 (interviewed by Henri Cole)
• Ted Hughes, The Art of Poetry No. 71 (Interviewed by Drue Heinz)
• Carolyn Kizer, The Art of Poetry No. 81 (Interviewed by Barbara Thompson Davis)
• Stanley Kunitz, The Art of Poetry No. 29 (Interviewed by Chris Busa)
• Robert Lowell, The Art of Poetry No. 3 (interviewed by Frederick Seidel)
• Archibald MacLeish, The Art of Poetry No. 18 (interviewed by Benjamin DeMott)
• Derek Mahon, The Art of Poetry No. 82 (interviewed by Eamonn Grennan)
• Marianne Moore, The Art of Poetry No. 4 (interviewed by Donald Hall)
• Pablo Neruda, The Art of Poetry No. 14 (interviewed by Rita Gilbert)
• Octavio Paz, The Art of Poetry No. 42 (Interviewed by Alfred Mac Adam)
• Kay Ryan, The Art of Poetry No. 94 (Interviewed by Sarah Fay)
• Charles Simic, The Art of Poetry No. 90 (Interviewed by Mark Ford)
• Derek Walcott, The Art of Poetry No. 37 (Interviewed by Edward Hirsch)
• Charles Wright, The Art of Poetry No. 41 (interviewed by J. D. McClatchy)
[Back to Top]

Other interviews with poets:
• Anecdotes about T.S. Eliot (1888-1965), from Anecdotes About Authors
• U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey (audio, Diane Rehm show, 1-23-13). U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey was born in Mississippi, 100 years to the day after Confederate Memorial Day was established. Her mother was black, her father is white. Their marriage was against the law in the state. Her poetry explores the interplay of race and memory in her life and in American history. The past she mines is often unsettling: growing up biracial in the deep south of the 1960s, the lives of forgotten African-American Civil War soldiers, her mother’s murder and the legacy of slavery. Tretheway is the first poet laureate to move to Washington, D.C., and work out of the Library of Congress since the position was established in 1986. She’s the first southern Poet Laureate since Robert Penn Warren. And she’s the first person to serve simultaneously as the poet laureate of a state –- Mississippi –- and the nation. In 2007, she received a Pulitzer Prize for her poetry collection, “Native Guard.” Last year, she published a follow-up titled, “Thrall.” She joins Diane to talk about the role of poetry in our everyday lives.
The beautiful poem she reads early in interview is W. H. Auden's "Musιe des Beaux Arts."
“Poetry might be defined as the clear expression of mixed feelings.” ~W.H. Auden, New Year Letter
[Back to Top]

Punctuating poetry

• Breaking Grammar Rules in Poetry Writing (Melissa Donovan, Writing Forward)
• Punctuating Poetry Part One by LaMonica (Deviant Art)
• To Punctuate or Not (Sheila Packa, 8-9-11). Interesting explanation of the punctuation of three poets (Lucille Clifton, Lorine Niedecker, e.e. cummings) who do NOT use much punctuation, so when they do it usually means something or serves a poetic purpose.
• Punctuation and Line Breaks in Poetry (Ann L. Camy, Poetry Society of Colorado)
• crush me back to sleep (SycamoreSea, Deviant Art, 3-30-15). A good example of a poem with (almost) no punctuation.

" Once, poets were magicians. Poets were strong, stronger than warriors or kings — stronger than old hapless gods. And they will be strong once again."~Greg Bear

[Back to Top]

Poetry awards and contests

***Poets & Writers' detailed list of contests, grants, and awards
***Poetry Society of America links to legitimate poetry contests for books, for chapbooks, and for single poems.
***Academy of American Poets. Numerous awards for poetry in the United States, ranging in value from $1,000 to $100,000.
• Poetry Contests: Books (Poetry Society of America's list of legitimate poetry contests)
• G&A: The Contest Blog (Prize Reporter, Grants and Awards, Poets & Writers).
• Wikipedia list of poetry awards from around the world
• Legitimate poetry contests vs. contest scams
• Awards, Grants, and Fellowships, plus contests and other sources of funding (Writers and Editors)
• Contests and Awards (paid service, WritersMarket.com)

• Bollingen Prize for Poetry at Yale ($100,000), a prestigious literary honor bestowed every two years on an American poet, in recognition of the best book of new verse within the last two years, or for lifetime achievement.
• Arthur Rense Prize, an award of $20,000 given triennially to an exceptional poet, by the American Academy of Arts and Letters
• PEN Award for Poetry in Translation ($3,000) Recognizes book-length translations of poetry from any language into English published during the current year.
• Raiziss/​de Palchi Translation Awards (Academy of American Poets), for outstanding translations into English of modern Italian poetry through a $10,000 book prize and a $25,000 fellowship, given in alternating years
• Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry (a privately funded $10,000 poetry award given under the auspices of the Library of Congress--the Rebekah Johnson Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry)
• Amy Lowell Poetry Travelling Scholarship (an annual scholarship of about $54,000 to support travel abroad for gifted American-born poets. No age requirement, nor need poet be previously published, though previous winners have been.
• Sophie Kerr Prize (half of the income from her bequest to Washington College, valued at $61,000 in 2014, is awarded to the graduating senior demonstrating the best potential for literary achievement, for both creative and critical writing.
• Montreal International Poetry Prize ($50,000 for one poem, in English). As reported by Poets&Writers, New Fifty-Thousand-Dollar Poetry Prize Has Global Ambitions (G&A, Prize Reporter, 4-4-11)
• Banipal Trust for Arab Literature A prize of £3,000 awarded annually for a book of poetry or fiction translated from Arabic into English, published for the first time in English during the previous year.
• Wag's Review (awards of $1,000 to $100 for top prizes, plus publication, weighed against $20 entry fee per item of poetry, essay, or fiction).
• Concrete Wolf Chapbook Award and Concrete Wolf Louis Poetry Book Award (for poets age 50 and over who have not yet published a full-length poetry collection)
• Creative Writers Opportunities List (CRWROPPS-B), Yahoo list, calls for submissions and contest information for writers of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction.
• Creative Writing Contests (Manuscript Editing)
[Back to Top]

"We have been able to have fine poetry in England because the public do not read it, and consequently do not influence it." ~ Oscar Wilde

• Entering to Win: On Poetry Contests (Robert Casper, Poets.org, The Academy of American Poets)
• Web Resources that Help You Identify Scams
• Writing Contests: When Winners Are Losers (Moira Allen Writing-World.com, on scams writers should be aware of)
• 13 Warning Signs of a Bad Poetry Contest (Winning Writers)
• For some artists, success comes with a price. "Free contest 'winners' can buy books, mugs, plaques featuring their work" (Diana Marrero, Jacksonville Times-Union, 4-3-01)
• 7 Ways to Become the Victim of a Poetry Contest Scam (John Hewitt, PoeWar, 1-11-10)
• Contests and Agencies to Avoid (Winning Writers)
• Getting the Scoop on Poetry Contest Scams (Linda Alice Dewey, Absolute Write)
• Preditors and Editors list of writing contests (on which they indicate which contests not to enter)
• The Free Contest Scheme (Writer Beware, SFWA). In this version of the vanity anthology scheme, writers are targeted via a free contest. Another variation: Pay to Play Anthologies (often nonfiction), and other schemes to get writers to open their wallets.
[Back to Top]

Links to other helpful or interesting poetry-related sites and articles

• Poet at Work: Examined Life (O. T. Marodin, The Point, 2016) A poet attempts to solve the timeless question: How should a poet make money?
• Absolute Necessities (Jeff Gordinier, Poetry Foundation). The recession confession of a poetry shopaholic. A paperback isn’t that expensive, but trust me, all those impulse buys add up. See also Comments.
• Advice on how to sell poetry (Neile Graham)
• Advice to Writers: 'Love People' (Joe Fassler, "By Heart" series, The Atlantic, 6-3-14) Author Rupert Thomson says a Yevgeny Yevtushenko poem taught him the value of risk. "Even more broadly, 'Zima Junction' asks us to move from the known into the unknown—from home to away, from ourselves towards others. It’s a call for us to move beyond our comfort zones, geographical and psychological, and explore new places that may threaten or frighten or challenge us."
• Articles from Poets & Writers
• The Art of the Metaphor (Jane Hirshfield, TedEd video lesson)
• The Art of...the excellent series from Graywold Press, includes these books, among others:
---Doty, Mark. The Art of Description: World into Word
---Longenbach, James. The Art of the Poetic Line by James Longenbach
---Voigt, Ellen Bryant. The Art of Syntax: Rhythm of Thought, Rhythm of Song
---Young, Dean. The Art of Recklessness: Poetry as Assertive Force and Contradiction. "Evolve your poetics," writes Amy King.
• Ask a Librarian (Saison Poetry House, U.K.)
• Margaret Atwood's tribute to poet and teacher Jay MacPherson (delivered at Victoria College 6-11-12)
• The Book of my Enemy Has Been Remaindered. Clive James' classic poem about about literary schadenfreude, as posted by Dwight Garner on the NY Times Paper Cuts blog about books.
• Bucking the establishment:How self-published writers can sidestep literary-world snubs (Jennifer Levin, Pasatiempo, 2-6-15) “There was always a distinction between academic poetry and street poetry. In street poetry, you take more chances, talking in the vernacular. There’s a raw intelligence out there that isn’t so formal," [said poet John Macker]. “I’m not part of the academy, and when I read The American Poetry Review, which I do rarely, the work by university-connected poets seems to be written for each other and for their students. There’s a little bit of a wall around that writing — in-jokes and a private dialogue going on between the academic writers that doesn’t exist out in America...."
• Charles Wright Named America's Poet Laureate (Jennifer Schuessler, NY Times, 6-12-14). Wright turned to poetry because he couldn't tell a story. Once he retired, he started reading crime fiction. "'I’ve picked up every narrative I could get my hands on, to make up for 50 years of nonnarrative.' Not that he thinks he’s cracked the cosmic whodunit pondered in his verse. 'Poetry is the dark side of the moon,'he said. 'It’s up there, and you can see the front of it. But what it is isn’t what you’re looking at. It’s behind what you’re looking at.'"
• Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Poetry (Poetry Foundation)
• Colonies, Conferences, and Festivals (Poetry Society of America links)
• David Biespiel's Poetry Wire: The Poets Journey (read chapters from his book free, online, on The Rumpus). "Every time you write a poem, you’re learning to become a poet once again. Your writing imitates not the banal sequence from life to death, but instead imitates a descent into and out of a new womb of clarity."
• Dear Ms Morgan: your guidance is a mini-syllabus on how to wreck poetry (Michael Rosen, The Guardian, 4-7-15) You cannot prescribe and measure children’s reaction to a poem, or confine it to exact or correct meanings
• Dear Writer: Reasons to Love and Fear Your Copyeditor (Sally Fisher Saller, the Subversive Copy Editor, in Prime Number)
• Directory of Poetry Publishers (AWP)
• 18 Best Books of (or about) Poetry in 2015 (Grace Cavalieri, Wash Indep Rev of Books, 1-12-16)
• 50 literary magazines that may accept poetry submissions (have not tested the list)

• Haiku Rules of the Road (an interesting slant on haiku by Neal Whitman, poetry editor for Pulse -- "voices from the heart of medicine"). See entries on Pulse's haiku slide show.
• 14 Twitter haikus to celebrate World Poetry Day (delightful)
• Japanese Haiku Poetry Resources

• Hall, Donald. Unpacking the Boxes: A Memoir of a Life in Poetry (from youth through old age) and Life Work (reflections on the pleasures of work become more when the well-known poet and memoirist learns, at 63, that he has cancer). '
• Holding On Upside Down: The Life and Work of Marianne Moore by Linda Leavell, who said in an interview for The Biographer's Craft, asked how her previous scholarship prepared her for that work: "Biography... is essentially storytelling, and fluid prose matters more than it does in other forms of scholarship....I would advise others making this transition not to get too attached to the particulars of their research. I had to omit much that I had learned in order to keep the story moving."
• Handbook for Literary Translators (free download from PEN America)
• How Important Is an Author’s Biography? (Stefanie, So Many Books). This general essay refers to The Lives of Lorine Niedecker: How important is a poet's biography? (Hannah Brooks-Motl, Poetry Foundation, 7-16-13)
• How to Find a Novel, Short Story, or Poem Without Knowing Its Title or Author (Lost Titles, Forgotten Rhymes; Library of Congress Web guide to finding poems)
• Links for poets (excellent resources, American Academy of Poets)
• A Literary Bromance, Now in Its Sixth Decade (Alexandra Alter, NY Times, 6-25-16) The poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti recently sent his friend and literary agent, Sterling Lord, the manuscript for “To the Light House,” which blends autobiography, fiction and surrealist riffs on mortality, nature and consciousness. It’s the closest thing to a memoir that he’ll ever write, he said. The story of a long and interesting friendship between a poet and his literary agent.
• Making enemies, through poetry (Tim Steller, Arizona Daily Star, 10-4-13) Just who does this Jefferson Carter character think he is, anyway? (The kind of story that sells poetry.)
• Library of Congress Poetry Resources (compiled by Peter Armenti)
• Literary devices, defined (LiteraryDevices.net)
• Me, myself and I: How easy is it to write confessional poetry? (Christina Patterson, The Independent, 1-23-13). Sharon Olds' account of her marital break-up made her a deserved TS Eliot winner. But that doesn't mean confessional poetry is easy to pull off. Confessional poetry, says critic Mack Rosenthal, is poetry that "goes beyond customary bounds of reticence or personal embarrassment."
• Mr. William Shakespeare and the Internet (Heather Grace Stewart, guest post on Paul Lima's blog, 6-19-12)
• My Path to Print on Demand Poetry
• OEDILF (The Omnificent English Dictionary In Limerick Form)
• Paris Review "Writers at Work" interviews (from 1953 on)
• Poetry and Literature (Library of Congress, links to many helpful resources)
• Poetry Audio Recordings: A Guide to Online Resources (Library of Congress). Invaluable guide to selected online resources for audio recordings of poets reading and discussing their work.
• Poetry...Do I Dare? Sample High School Unit of Study for Grades 9 and 10 (NYC Dept. of Education)
• Poetry Explication &UNC Writing Center)
• Poetry Gets Some Poetic Justice (Richard Morgan, NY Times, 8-28-13) "In 40 years I've never seen it so vibrant here," said Alice Quinn, the Poetry Society's executive director and a former poetry editor at the New Yorker. "I half-expect a poetry cafe to pop up any day now in Hudson Heights."
• Poetry journals, publishers, literary organizations, gatherings, contests, and writing programs (Poetry Society of America)
• PoetryLovers daily poem (subscribe, free, to get a poem every day in your email -- and to read the collection of poems "released" in past)
• Poetry Lovers' Page (poetry by Poe, Stevenson, Kipling, and other famous British, American, and Russian poets, submitted by readers)
• Poetry Lovers @​poemstogo (Facebook page)
• Poetry Magazine (articles from)/a>
Poetry Speaks, where poets and poetry publishers and fans of poetry and poets can gather and interact, listen to poetry, upload their poems read aloud)
• Poetry that frees the soul (Cristina Domenech's TED talk, filmed Sept. 2014 at TEDxRiodelaPlata). This moving talk is in Spanish with subtitles, about how her prison writing workshops, which focus on short poems (reading and then writing them), profoundly affect inmates' lives. Poetry that makes a difference. At the end one of the men reads his poem--to a HUGE crowd.
• Poets & Writers Magazine
• Poet's Market 2016, ed. Robert Lee Brewer. An annual directory.
• A Poet's Double Life (Pamela Taylor's blog for poets working outside the literary world)
• Presidents as Poets: Poetry Written by United States Presidents (created by Peter Armenti, Library of Congress Web guide)
• RealPoetik. You can sign up for their mailing list.
• RhymeZone, online rhyming dictionary and thesaurus
• Selby's List of Experimental Poetry/​Art Magazines
• Small Press Distribution (SPD, connecting readers with writers of poetry, innovative fiction, and cultural writing)
• Small Presses Are on the Rise: Is Poetry Leading the Way?(Dennis Loy Johnson, MobyLives, 3-24-02)
• Stressed, Unstressed: Classic Poems to Ease the Mind, ed. by Jonathan Bate and Paula Byrne, who are offering a free online course Feb. 3, 2016: Literature and Mental Health: Reading for Wellbeing
• Submitting your work for publication (Charlie Hughes)
• Talking Volumes (MPR's Kerri Miller's multimedia interviews with poets Josephine Dickinson and Galway Kinnell, on Star-Tribune site)
• That's What It Meant: Symbolism in Poetry (English.Answers.com, recommended by Dylan)
• Understanding Poetry (video, Robin Williams from the movie The Dead Poets Society)

• Top 100 Creative Writing Blogs, updated 2012. BestCollegesOnline.com (includes poets who blog)
• What Is a Poem? (Mark Yakich, Atlantic, 11-25-13) You read it; it reads you. An Object Lesson.
• What Poetry Form Am I? (do answer the questions)
And what the heck: How to Write and Sell Greeting Cards, Bumper Stickers, T-Shirts and Other Fun Stuff by Molly Wigand, one of several books on a field poets might consider as a sideline!

Literary magazines online:
• American Book Review (links to literary magazines, publishers, and organizations)
• Duotrope (lists over 3500 fiction and poetry publications)
• Litlines list of journals and online journals. It also lists small presses and literary organizations.
• New Pages (news, information and guides to independent bookstores, independent publishers, literary magazines, alternative periodicals, independent record labels, alternative newsweeklies and more). Here are links to literary magazines.
• Poets & Writers excellent database (500+ magazines that accept poems, stories, essays, and reviews). P&W also lists MFA creative writing programs and small presses.
• Websites for African American poetry (MTSU)

Poetry Daily. "The urge to 'tie the poem to a chair with rope and torture a confession out of it' lessens when poetry arises freshly each day." (from the Introduction to Poetry by Billy Collins)

* Poetry Speaks, where poets and poetry publishers and fans of poetry and poets can gather and interact, listen to poetry, upload their poems read aloud)

The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor (great archive of poems to read and hear)
[Back to Top]